(urth) Wolfean theologies and the Long Sun

Son of Witz sonofwitz at butcherbaker.org
Thu Feb 5 14:00:59 PST 2009

>-----Original Message-----
>From: Matthew Weber [mailto:palaeologos at gmail.com]
>Sent: Thursday, February 5, 2009 01:19 PM
>To: 'The Urth Mailing List'
>Subject: Re: (urth) Wolfean theologies and the Long Sun

>It is difficult for this Christian priest to see how Severian could be a
>Christ; he is unaware of his Godhead in any meaningful way, and is far from
>sinless.  His trajectory is, however, fairly close to that of a Christian
>who strives to imitate Christ and grows (oh, how slowly!) in faith and
>Having said this, though, I'm sure that other interpretations will offer
>much of value.  Wolfe's work is very complex, after all!

>Matt +

Cool. A priest. I love the internet for grouping unlike minds together.
Very sorry if anything I've said has offended you, good sir.  I like that you directly knocked down my arguments with solid arguments, rather than suggest I shouldn't be speaking about this, as some here have.

The discussions here have made me back off on the idea of Severian as an instantiation of the Logos.  I based that on the idea that he, as Conciliator and New Sun, forged a peace between God and Man, and that he fulfilled both the Redeemer role, in bringing the sword, and the Prophet role - his stint as Conciliator, instilling hope in a "Second coming"  To me, the "miracles" of resurrection are less important, though telling.  I'm now not sure that Severian actually "forged a peace". That lies on the assumption that the schemes of the Hierodudes were God's work. I think that what he did was good, and was God's work, but I can perfectly see how the text casts that into doubt.

I suppose though, that a lot of the argument against Severian as Christ rests in the Morality question, one in which I've thoroughly ignored.  I feel that he's not hugely immoral though.  He's usually supposed to be cruel, but he almost always chooses mercy, unless he's fulfilling his carnificial role.  One is reminded of The Last Temptation of Christ, where Jesus is building crucifixes. (I don't really know how heretical that story is.) I find it massively compelling, the idea of Man as torturer, who must better himself to mercy. Severian's Carnificial role is justified by Paleamon's moral rationalization, that it is crucial that Good Men do the torture, and not bad men.  In light of that, Severian still chooses, or says he will, to abolish torture all together.

I think what's most interesting to me, is not whether he is or is not a Christ, but the idea of becoming the myth that shaped you.  I'm in the middle of Green's Jungles, and Horn seems to be experiencing this dynamic in a very different way.  This is the "Becoming like Christ", and that's what's important, I think, to the storys' messages. [SHORT SPOILERS] Horn seems to have become Silk, just as he always strove to think like Silk, and how he was known to otherwise imitate Silk.  Can't wait to see where that goes.  
Severian not only becomes The New Sun, the myth he's longed for his entire life, but he goes onto become the Conciliator the first time. The idea is just preposterously hilarious and awesome.

it was just commented that I linked Severian to the New Sun, rather than the Increate. I meant sort of the opposite. My point was that Stars have no consciousness that we can speak of. I meant that he was connected to the Increate, and that it is that energy acting through him. I can't speak to whether that makes him divine, or temporarily divine, or what.


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